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8 Atlanta Restaurants for Al Fresco Gatherings
Food at Gypsy Kitchen
Dining al fresco has been trending across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will remain an option in milder climates, including Atlanta.
The city’s lineup of restaurants that serve delicious culinary creations, including globally inspired fare, seasonal dishes and shareable menu items, is long and acclaimed.
“Atlanta is home to a large variety of dining options that showcase our talented culinary community," said Kristin Delahunt, vice president, convention services for the Atlanta CVB. “Restaurants across the city are implementing updated operational procedures and expanded safety measures, with many offering outdoor dining.”
Groups that prefer open-air settings will find many Atlanta eateries have comfortable, beautifully decorated outdoor spaces that accommodate seated dining, and buffet or passed hors d’oeuvres receptions in every season.
For example, according to Delahunt, “There are many locations with very appealing patio seating for events, including along the Atlanta BeltLine path.”
Following are eight great restaurants with standout open-air settings for memorable group dining experiences.
TWO Urban Licks
One popular Atlanta BeltLine resident is TWO Urban Licks, which features an expansive patio from which attendees will enjoy views of the downtown skyline.
The patio is thoughtfully configured for socially distant dining and can be used as a private space to entertain large groups in normal times, according to Joe Nash, director of sales for Concentrics Restaurants.
“The patio was recently renovated to embrace the Atlanta BeltLine, which was an old abandoned railroad track when TWO Urban Licks first opened,” he said. “Fire pits and an outdoor bar help create a one-of-a-kind patio experience.”
In-house staff, including Executive Chef Matt Weinstein and craft bartenders, are available for cooking demos and mixology classes to complement a meal from a menu featuring wood-fired creations.
Signature Dishes: Salmon Chips, Deviled Oysters, Rotisserie Chicken, Peanut Butter Pie
Gypsy Kitchen, a Mediterranean getaway in the middle of the city, has an expansive rooftop with four distinct dining areas that offer inspiring views of the Buckhead neighborhood’s skyline.
Each of the patio spaces offers a different vibe, including the Seville Lounge for relaxed occasions and the private Valencia Patio for a quiet, more formal event. Groups could also combine three of the outdoor patios for a dinner and reception.
“They have it decorated with comfy pillows and cushions for all of the seating,” said Janice L Conner, national director of sales. “The addition of colorful blankets at every table during the cooler temperatures makes you never want to leave.”
Curated interactive experiences, including a mixology class, paella cooking demo and tastings of wine and sherry paired with Spanish meats and cheeses, can all be arranged for interested groups.
Signature Dishes: Ottoman Trip of Dips With Sesame Barbari Flatbread, Grilled Spanish Octopus, Paella (Seafood or Vegetarian), Basque Cheesecake
Bold Monk Brewing Co.
Bold Monk Brewing Co. is a Belgian-inspired gastropub/brewery that follows the proud tradition of outdoor dining in European cities.
It has several spaces for group events, including the large Bold Monk Beer Garden, which can accommodate up to 200 people in a cocktail reception setting complete with dangling lights.
“The beer garden was designed as an integral part of the Bold Monk and is a perfect spot for social and corporate events that desire a first-class outdoor experience,” said John Roberts, managing partner.
As well as enjoying a taste of Europe in the heart of Atlanta, groups might also arrange a beer tasting, brewery tour or live entertainment in the beer garden.
Signature Dishes: Brick Oven Pizza, Bitterballen, Steak and Frites, Beer Fudge Waffle With Ice Cream
Inspired by classic coastal traditions from America and around the world, Lure serves up some of Atlanta’s freshest seafood in a converted 1920s bungalow.
Its outdoor patio seats 60 and is bordered by tropical plants and wooden slat shutters that evoke a seaside fish house.
“Set back from the bustle of Midtown’s Crescent Avenue, Lure’s open-air patio is a big city oasis,” said David Ulmer, general manager. “The patio is cooled with misting fans in the summer and heated in the winter, making it the perfect all-season patio for large groups to meet.”
Add-on experiences can be arranged for groups, including oyster shucking demos and cocktail classes.
Signature Dishes: Char-broiled Oysters, Baked Crab Dip, Grilled Octopus and Pork Lettuce Wraps, Buttermilk Donuts
No Mas! Cantina
No Mas! Cantina is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, according to Melody Voirin, director of operations, and will transport groups into Mexico even though they’re only steps from downtown Atlanta.
The restaurant has a lovely outside garden area and free parking, which is convenient when accommodating large group events.
“While the pandemic has changed a few things, like the servers wearing masks and social distancing between tables, with our ample square footage and abundance of space we are still able to safely host meetings,” Voirin said.
No Mas! Cantina serves family-style meals for groups as well as buffet setups, and the restaurant also offers tequila tastings.
Signature Dishes: Steak and Chicken Fajitas, Street Tacos, Pollo Relleno, Sopapillas
Groups have seven spaces on two levels to choose from at 5Church Atlanta, including an outdoor lower-level patio and a newly renovated exposed rooftop patio and enclosed sunroom that boasts a bird’s-eye view of a popular Atlanta thoroughfare.
“The intensely sought-after rooftop patio is coveted because it’s perfectly perched above the bustle of Peachtree Street,” said Emilyn Espiritu, director of sales and events.
Interested groups can book seated or standing meal functions starring dishes from 5Church’s modern American menu, as well as fun add-on experiences such as a cooking demo or bourbon tasting.
Signature Dishes: Miso Scottish Salmon, Butternut Squash Ravioli, Charcuterie and Cheese Board, Pecan Praline Bread Pudding
The newly renovated Sky Lounge, situated atop the historic boutique Glenn Hotel, is centrally located in downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Park District.
This fully open-air venue has a “garden in the sky” feel complete with lounge and bar seating.
“Guests are invited to sit back, relax and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the greater Atlanta area while sipping craft cocktails and enjoying light Southern-inspired bites,” said Brad Boatner, vice president of event sales for Legacy Ventures.
For private events, customized buffets, locally inspired food displays and themed stations could be arranged.
Groups can also add a chef-attended experience or a bourbon tasting to the event.
Signature Dishes: Fried Georgia Chicken, Shrimp and Grits, Soft Pretzels With Pimento Cheese
Kyma offers a unique dining experience that transports groups to the Greek islands. Its three outdoor venues include an intimate garden party space and a year-round covered patio for larger groups.
“All three outdoor options are beautiful, picturesque locations, taking guests on a culinary staycation through Santorini, Greece,” said Chef Pano Karatassos.
Groups who book a reception can customize a buffet or choose from a menu of passed small plates, and for seated events, groups can share a whole wood-grilled fish or a variety of grilled lamb, pork ribs, chicken and jumbo prawns.
Interested groups can also book a tasting of ouzo cocktails or a class with mixologist Andrej Pop.
Signature Dishes: Spanakopita With Lump Crab Meat, Mini Lamb Pies, Baklava WithPistachio Ice Cream
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